Current Board of Directors

Directors are elected yearly by the Active Members at the Annual General Meeting of the Land Trust. New Directors are recruited through a comprehensive process based on the skills required for the Board. All Directors serve on a volunteer basis.

If you are interested in becoming a Director for the Land Trust, please contact us at:

Vernon & District Community Land Trust Society
3502 27th Avenue
Vernon, BC V1T 7A1

Phone: (250) 545-6475

Kari Gares, Board Chair

Kari Gares is a Platinum Award-Winning, Independent Mortgage Broker, Entrepreneur and Co-Owner of MHC Mortgage House located in Vernon, BC. With more than 21 years of experience and training in the Financial Services Industry, Kari has built a strong reputation as an outstanding Mortgage Specialist, serving the lending needs of real estate professionals, builders and home-buyers throughout the province and around the world.  Kari’s breadth of knowledge of the real estate industry, finance industry and mortgage lending policies has enabled her to customize a mortgage product that perfectly meets her clients’ needs and goals.  She is an active sponsor of community events in both sports and arts-driven ventures, and has volunteers for many non-profit organizations such as the United Way, Elizabeth Fry Society (Regional and National Boards), North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse Association, and the Vernon & District Community Land Trust.  Kari’s dedicated and consistent ambition to creating solid investment strategies for her clients and the community has allowed her to be successful and to offer guidance to those seeking home ownership.  Her passion for her community along with her expertise in the field is deeply rooted in her commitment to assist with affordable housing initiatives.

Margaret Penner, Board Vice-Chair

Margaret Penner has worked in the Hospitality Industry in Vernon since moving here with her family in 1982.  She worked in management at Silver Star for 20 years and as Director of Sales & Marketing at Predator Ridge.  Margaret understands that affordable housing is a key factor in attracting and retaining quality staff.
She is passionate about the “Service Industry”, working as a trainer for several local companies as well as her own small businesses. She was one of the founding Sponsors of the “Go Award” – a program recognizing Above & Beyond Service for front line workers in Vernon.  Margaret believes everyone; including low – middle income employees and seniors deserve a safe healthy home, and is part of The Land Trust Board to work toward this commitment.

Paul Philps, Treasurer

Paul is a Financial Advisor with RBC Dominion Securities.  As a Chartered Professional Accountant (CPA) and a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) Paul uses his diverse financial background to ensure his clients financial needs as well as life goals are well planned for.  He works to take the stress of financial planning off of his clients.  Due to him holding both an IIROC license as well as being licensed to sell insurance, Paul is able to handle all of his clients needs.  Paul chose to work with the Vernon Land Trust due to its commitment to helping the community and working to make sure that more people can enjoy all that Vernon has to offer.  Paul was an easy transplant to Vernon as his wife grew up in Coldstream.  Along with his two daughters and a small maltalier dog Mia, Paul has come to love Vernon and hopes to make sure that others have the same opportunity.

David Scarlatescu

David is the Owner/Operator of The Fig, a Café/Bistro in Vernon, BC. He moved to Vernon with his mother in 2006 and purchased The Fig in the summer of 2017. David has a passion for Real Estate and has taken the time to educate himself in various investment strategies including Lease Options/Rent To Own, Single Family, Multi-Family (6 units+), and Creative Financing for putting deals together. His favorite of these strategies is Multi-Family and apartment buildings. He also brings a new approach to marketing with his presence on social media. As a marketer and business man, he looks to provide as much value as possible in every situation. David represents the millennial generation and brings a younger energy to the Land Trust. He loves Vernon and wants to see it grow and expand. One of the best ways to do that, is to look after the people who already live here. He joined the Land Trust to be part of a positive change in the community he loves.

Dale Kermode

Justin Vanderham

Ryan Molitwenik

Bryan Ford